Added-Gaming Funds More Than Third of Purses

According to a Thoroughbred Racing Associations study, money from added-gaming sources now accounts for more than one-third of the purse money awarded in U.S. Thoroughbred racing.

That telling statistic was revealed in research conducted by Jane Murray of the TRA at the second day of the International Simulcast Conference Sept. 30 in Delray Beach, Fla. The study showed that 35% of the $1.127 billion paid in 2013 purses was generated by added-gaming sources. Those sources would include slot machines, video lottery terminals, Instant Racing, poker, card rooms, and subsidies paid by off-track casinos.

Murray conducted a similar study in 2010 that showed 29% of purses were funded by added-gaming. Since then, New York has begun supplementing purses with money from casino-type wagering. Murray said a total of 16 states in 2013 added to purse money from sources besides pari-mutuel wagering. She said with more states expected to pick up added-gaming revenues for purses, she could see the percentages continue to increase.

Thoroughbred Racing Associations executive vice president Chris Scherf said the growing reliance on added money is a concern because many times it is controlled by state governments, which may claim portions of it from racing when budgets are tight.

Murray also noted that the revenue generated by added gaming in some states has been reduced because of added competition within the region. She presented a table of Ohio, the Mid-Atlantic states, and the Northeast states and noted that there are about 50 casinos currently operating in those states.

The money from added-gaming dedicated to purses has helped pick up the slack as pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. races was down 4.7% in 2013, compared with 2010. As the wagering form dedicated to the sport, Scherf said the industry has to make a commitment to pari-mutuel wagering.

“I think we need a great effort to move the pari-mutuel business forward,” Scherf said. “That said, we face great challenges in trying to do that at a time when the foal crop is going down and we’re facing short fields.”
Read more on BloodHorse.com:  http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87708/added-gaming-funds-more-than-third-of-purses#ixzz3ErqIhSlm

Alcibiades Kicks Off Return to Keeneland Dirt

With the installation of a new dirt surface this year after racing on Polytrack since 2006, Keeneland and its fans can say goodbye to the old Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) that used to be more of a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) and hello to the prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

Run at 1 1/16 miles with a purse of $400,000 Oct. 3, opening day at the Lexington track, the Alcibiades, which was inaugurated in 1952, is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

To demonstrate the interest in the new, or perhaps that should be old, Alcibiades Stakes, a total of 13 2-year-old fillies were entered, seven of whom have won their last start.

While the majority of the field is coming off races at Saratoga Race Course or Churchill Downs, there are also horses who last ran at Arlington International Racecourse, Louisiana Downs, and Haydock Park in England.

Despite the presence of several fillies who have won or placed in stakes, the most accomplished horse in the race, and the one to catch from the rail, is George Bolton and Barry Hall’s Fashion Alert, who is undefeated in two starts, both of them stakes in New York.

The daughter of Old Fashioned  , trained by Todd Pletcher, was so precocious she made her career debut in the 5 1/2-furlong Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park. After winning by almost five lengths, she was 1-5 in the grade III Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga and had to overcome a severe bumping incident at the start, but still was able to draw clear late to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

After being out for 2 1/2 months, she is back in the entries with regular rider John Velazquez aboard.

Fashion Alert is hardly the only speed in the race, despite coming off sprints and breaking from the rail.

Arlington maiden winner Innovative Idea, trained by Eoin Harty for Darley Stable, won her only start on the front end, blazing a half in :45 flat. The Dale Romans-trained Taylor S blew her opponents away right from the break in her career debut at Churchill Downs, winning by nearly four lengths. Top Decile, trained by Al Stall Jr., went head and head on the lead through a half in :45 3/5 in her career debut at Saratoga.

One filly with speed who has a mile race under her is the Kelly Breen-trained Calamity Kate, who chased a :46 1/5 pace at Belmont Park in her third start before drawing away to a six-length romp. Paco Lopez has a return engagement and will break from post 4.

Bill Kaplan has an interesting filly in Naval Command, who won two of her first three starts sprinting before stretching out to a mile on the grass in the Happy Ticket Stakes at Louisiana Downs. The daughter of Midshipman   battled on the lead the whole way and hung on gamely to win by a neck.

If the speed falters and sets things up for a closer, there is the Kenny McPeek-trained Pangborn, who after breaking her maiden in her career debut on grass at Ellis Park, rallied to finish second after an awkward start in the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. Milehigh Butterfly, trained by William Connelly, also closed well in the Pocahontas, finishing third.

Although Godolphin’s Gap Year has only one start and is still a maiden, the daughter of Bernardini   closed very fast to finish third, beaten a head. Joel Rosario has a return mount for Kiaran McLaughlin, but will have to break from the far outside in post 13. Breaking just inside her in post 12 is the Wayne Lukas-trained Take Charge Brandi, fifth in both the Pocahontas and Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), but second in the Schuylerville Stakes(gr. III) before that.

Stretching out off two sprint victories is Paige, who is coming off game scores at Ellis Park and Churchill Downs for Donnie Von Hemel.

Ironically, the only horse in the race who has a work over the Keeneland surface is the European invader Peace and War, who will be making her dirt debut, having finished second on the grass at Haydock in her last start. Before that, the daughter of War Front   finished sixth of 21 starters in the Albany Stakes (Eng-III) at Royal Ascot.

Rounding out the field is Slava, third in a recent allowance/optional claimer going six furlongs at Churchill Downs.

Darley Alcibiades S. (gr. I)

Keeneland, Friday, October 03, 2014, Race 9
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $400,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 5:13 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Weight Trainer
1 Fashion Alert (KY) John R. Velazquez 118 Todd A. Pletcher
2 Milehigh Butterfly (KY) Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 118 William R. Connelly
3 Slava (KY) Jon Kenton Court 118 Gennadi Dorochenko
4 Calamity Kate (KY) Paco Lopez 118 Kelly J. Breen
5 Taylor S (KY) Corey J. Lanerie 118 Dale L. Romans
6 Naval Command (FL) Juan C. Leyva 118 William A. Kaplan
7 Innovative Idea (KY) James Graham 118 Eoin G. Harty
8 Pangburn (KY) Jesus Lopez Castanon 118 Kenneth G. McPeek
9 Top Decile (KY) Rosie Napravnik 118 Albert M. Stall, Jr.
10 Paige (KY) Chris Landeros 118 Donnie K. Von Hemel
11 Peace and War (FL) Julien R. Leparoux 118 Olly Stevens
12 Take Charge Brandi (KY) Luis Saez 118 D. Wayne Lukas
13 Gap Year (KY) Joel Rosario 118 Kiaran P. McLaughlin

Read more on BloodHorse.com:  http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87703/alcibiades-kicks-off-return-to-keeneland-dirt#ixzz3Erq1yjN9

Handle, Purses Decline at Churchill Meet

 

Handle, Purses Decline at Churchill Meet

The second September meet at Churchill Downs since it began hosting the dates previously held by Turfway Park produced a 16.15% decline in wagering and a 13.5% drop in purses.

According to numbers provided the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, Churchill pari-mutuel handle totaled $38,810,285, compared with $46,285,927 for the same number of days in 2013. In a day-to-day comparison between the two years, handle fell on 11 of the days this year and increased one day.

Churchill Downs Inc.-owned tracks do not release wagering or attendance figures, but report handle to regulators in the respective states in which they operate.

According to The Jockey Club Information Systems, purses totaled $3,864,378 this year for a daily average of $322,032; last year, purses averaged $372,646 from a total $4,471,748. Average field size dropped from 8.04 per race a year ago to 7.70 this year.

“We have a pair of September meets behind us and Churchill Downs remains optimistic that this new racing and entertainment product can be successful,” Churchill Downs racetrack president Kevin Flanery said in a release. “We faced many of the same challenges during this meet that impacted our spring meet, including our ongoing concerns about field sizes. Unfortunately, the starters per race was down this year, which is a result of the declining foal crops and increased competition for available horses from other tracks in our region and beyond.

“The positive news is that the Louisville market is becoming more aware of our September meet and the possibilities it holds for Kentucky horsemen during a beautiful time of year. We look forward to working with the racing commission and the horsemen to address the issue of field sizes so that we can continue to provide this promising product.”

Churchill has applied for a 12-day September meet again in 2015. The September meet coincides with the all-turf meet conducted at Kentucky Downs, which reported record handle for its five-day meet, average daily purses of $948,905, and field sizes that averaged in excess of 10 horses per race.

Kentucky Downs requested two additional dates for 2015, with three Saturday cards that would overlap Churchill’s live racing cards. Kentucky Downs, which has year-round electronic historic race gaming that helps fund purses, has requested 12 “host days” for September 2015. Churchill is seeking host status from Sept. 8-30. The host track retains a larger share of simulcast revenue.

The KHRC’s dates committee is scheduled to meet Sept. 30 to consider the requests.
Read more on BloodHorse.com:  http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87676/handle-purses-decline-at-churchill-meet#ixzz3ElssOhl3

Plan in Works to Save Suffolk Downs Racing

Plan in Works to Save Suffolk Downs Racing

By Lynne Snierson
There may be a reprieve for live racing at Suffolk Downs even though the track’s ownership group announced that they would not apply for dates in 2015.
The decision to end live racing and shutter Suffolk for simulcasting in December came as a consequence of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s vote to deny Mohegan Sun, the track’s gaming partner, the single Boston area casino license on Sept. 16. Now the local horsemen are stepping up.
Anthony Spadea, the president of the New England chapter of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and the organization’s executive director held a long meeting with top officials of Sterling Suffolk Race Course on the afternoon of Sept. 29. As a result, Spadea said that he will submit a preliminary application to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission indicating “intent to race” at Suffolk Downs next year.
Time is of the essence as the deadline to submit formal applications for dates is Oct. 1. Nonetheless, at a public hearing on Sept. 25, gaming commissioners decided to allow “placeholder” applications by the deadline in order to encourage another operator to step forward.
“Our organization is looking at filing a placeholder application indicating our intent to hold a race meet at Suffolk Downs in 2015,” Spadea said. “The issue is extremely complicated, and we need to see if the simulcasting laws in the state can be changed to make racing economically feasible. Meanwhile, we are extremely appreciative that the ownership and management of Suffolk Downs are keeping the door open, and we are thankful that they have a passion for racing and care about the dedicated horsemen and breeders in the Massachusetts Thoroughbred industry.”
It remains unclear when completed applications, accompanied by the required accompanying $125,000 bond, will be due. The gaming commission’s legal team is working on the issue.
The New England HBPA board has not approved the application for dates since the membership just concluded elections and the newly elected board cannot legally be seated before the evening of Oct. 2.

But the organization’s president decided to submit the application in the best interests of the horsemen and breeders because if he failed to do so, they would be out of options as no other parties with an interest in operating a live meet at Suffolk Downs next year have stepped forward.
Read more on BloodHorse.com:  http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87685/plan-in-works-to-save-suffolk-downs-racing#ixzz3Els7VJXB

Tonalist, Zivo Could Meet Again in BC Classic

Tonalist and Zivo, first and second, respectively, in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park, could meet up again in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), their trainers said the morning of Sept. 28.

However, neither of trainer Jimmy Jerkens’ entrants in the Sept. 27 Gold Cup, Wicked Strong and V. E. Day, are likely to be making the trip to Santa Anita Park Nov. 1 for the Classic. Wicked Strong unseated jockey Rajiv Maragh after clipping heels in the early part of the race and V. E. Day finished a troubled sixth.

Trainer Christophe Clement said Tonalist is likely to make his next start in the BC Classic, but a final decision must await a discussion with owner Robert S. Evans and an evaluation of the Tapit   colt’s condition. The Gold Cup victory gave Tonalist an automatic berth in the Classic as part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win & You’re In” promotion.

“Of course we’ll keep him eligible to the Breeders’ Cup,” Clement said. “I’ll talk to Mr. Evans later this week. The idea would be to train to the race, but we have plenty of time to talk about it.”

Meanwhile, trainer Chad Brown said he’d “like to take a shot” at America’s richest race with the hard-trying New York-bred Zivo.

Clement said he was thrilled with 3-year-old Tonalist’s impressive charge to win the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup by 1 3/4 lengths going away in his first try against older horses.

“He’s been improving all year long,” Clement said. “As a trainer, it’s very exciting because you can see him improving through the year. The main thing is the horse. Obviously, he’s a very nice horse and he’s the one who has been improving and does the running.”

In June, Tonalist became Clement’s first classic winner when he took the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) by a head.

This summer at Saratoga Race Course, Tonalist was second in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) in July and third in the Travers (gr. I) in his previous start Aug. 23. Clement removed the blinkers from Tonalist for the Gold Cup, and the colt responded by making a steady charge from last despite having to check while entering the far turn and in mid-stretch.

“It’s very exciting,” Clement said of Tonalist’s Gold Cup win. “He came out of the race in good order. We’re all thrilled and excited about it.”

Zivo, the Suburban Handicap (gr. II) winner July 5 at Belmont, lagged behind a lively pace and was forced to steady near the three-eighths pole after Wicked Strong unseated Maragh. He mounted a willing rally in the stretch to finish second.

Brown said, “Zivo came back great. He ran terrific. In my eyes, it was another career best race for him. He had some trouble, as did a handful of other horses when (Maragh) went down, but regained his composure and restarted his race at that point. He was second best yesterday, but a good second.”

Zivo, who progressed through his New York-bred conditions methodically before his breakthrough in the Suburban, may get a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Brown said he will discuss it with owner Tom Coleman.

“I’d like to take a shot in the Classic, but I have to talk to Mr. Coleman,” said the trainer. “He’s doing so well right now, and it’s one of the best races in the world. Why not?”

Jerkens reported that both second choice Wicked Strong and V. E. Day came out of the Gold Cup in good order despite their problems in the race.

“Both horses came back good,” Jerkens said. “V. E. Day lost an awful lot of ground early on. Post 10 is tough; I think it’s even tougher on a come-from-behind horse. (Jockey Javier Castellano) wasn’t able to tuck him in turning in on the backside and then he was stacked wide. He got him in a little bit on the turn, but then he had to go and swing out again wide when you lose the most ground. I think with a better post he would have gotten a check.”

Jerkens said Centennial Farms’ Wicked Strong, the Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner who was second by a nose to stablemate V. E. Day in the Travers (gr. I), could be done racing until 2015.

“It doesn’t look like we’re going to California with either one of them,” Jerkens said. “There’s a chance we might give Wicked the rest of the year off. He’s OK and everything, but he’s grinded it out pretty good and we hope to have a nice handicap horse next year.”

The trainer said options remain open for Magalen O. Bryant’s V. E. Day. He could possibly return to turf in the $250,000 Red Smith (gr. IIIT) Nov. 15 or remain on the main track against 3-year-olds in the $200,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 1, both at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Read more on BloodHorse.com:  http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87657/tonalist-zivo-could-meet-again-in-bc-classic#ixzz3Eh8IFYhK

Tonito M. Delivers Upset in Oklahoma Derby

Southern California shipper Tonito M. swept past the leaders to score a mild upset in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (gr. III) (VIDEO) Sept. 28 at Remington Park, earning his first victory in six starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
With Rafael Bejarano aboard, 5-1 shot Tonito M. proved much the best in a 14-horse field of sophomores in the 1 1/8-mile test, winning by 2 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:50.41 on a fast track. Bay of Biscay, collared in the final furlong at odds of 50-1, was second, while even-money choice Wildcat Red flattened out in the drive and finished third, 5 1/4 lengths behind Tonito M.
A star in Puerto Rico, where he won a grade I race at 2 as well as three other graded races and was named Horse of the Year and 2-year-old champion, Tonito M. had not been able to break through in American racing before Sunday. He recorded three earlier stakes placings for Hollendorfer and owner Mickey Gonzalez’s M Racing, however.

Gonzalez, an entrepreneur from San Juan whose principal business is in insurance, bought the horse in February, but Tonito M. didn’t come out of quarantine until mid-March. Gonzalez wanted to enter him immediately in a prominent Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prep race, but Hollendorfer advised against it, saying it would risk the horse’s promising future.
”When I purchased him, my mind was, all the way, to run him in the Kentucky Derby,” Gonzalez said. ”He told me, `We’re not going to destroy this horse. He’s not ready. We’re not going to push him so hard. Please, please don’t do that, because this is a great horse.’ I decided to follow his advice.”
A son of Rock Hard Ten out of the winning Dixieland Band mare Esther’s Big Band, Tonito M. was coming off a third-place finish in the listed Los Alamitos Mile Sept. 6. The bay colt was bred in Kentucky by Hilbert Thoroughbreds and Menard Thoroughbreds.
Tonito M. settled kindly in sixth on the outside in the big field as Louies Flower found himself alone on the front end early, recording quarter mile splits of :23.20 and :47.49 before being joined by Bay of Biscay and Wildcat Red. Bay of Biscay poked a head in front after six furlongs and held a one-length lead in the stretch before yielding to Tonito M., who closed with a rush at the urging of Bejarano.

”I had a very good trip,” Bejarano said. ”The horse broke very good. About a half-mile, I felt like I still had a little horse. He came into the stretch and it was on.”
Triple Crown contender Wildcat Red, ridden by Edgard Zayas lost his steam in the drive and finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Bay of Biscay and Jorge Carreno, who combined for a $452.80 exacta with the winner.

”I think he had a perfect trip,” said Zayas. ”He didn’t have problems. He broke good out of the gate. He just got beat.”
Under equal weights of 124 pounds, Tonito M. paid $12.80, $6.60, and $4.60 for the win, his seventh in 13 starts which boosted his earnings to $444,538. Bay of Biscay returned $38.80 and $17.40, while Wildcat Red was good for a $2.40 show payoff. A $2 trifecta was worth $1,577.40.
Louies Flower held on for fourth, followed by Charge Now, For Goodness Sake, Ibaka, Street Prancer, Away Game, Tulum, Even Echo, Edison, Rebranded, and Declan’s Fast Cat.
Tonito M. finished second in his continental U.S. debut in the Lazaro Barrera Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park May 10, then ran eighth in the Woody Stephens (gr. II) on the Belmont Stakes undercard June 7. Back in Southern California, he followed up with a third in the Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II) a month later, then was fifth in turf debut in the La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Del Mar Aug. 9.
The winner was purchased for $12,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2012 by Jaime Cervera from consignor Select Sales. He was earlier bought for $4,500 at the Keeneland breeding stock sale in November 2011 by Machmer Hall and Pony World Farm when offered by Lane’s End.
One race later on the Remington program, Shanon Nicole, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, coasted to a 5 1/4-length triumph in the listed $200,000 Remington Park Oaks for owner/breeder Connie Apostelos and trainer Mike Maker. Bred in Kentucky, Shannon Nicole ($7.40) is a daughter of Majestic Warrior   out of the Patton mare Crafty Wac.
Shannon Nicole completed the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.38. Thegirlinthatsong was second for Hollendorfer, with Haveyougoneaway third. America, the 13-10 choice in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, finished fourth.
The nightcap on the card, the $150,000 Remington Park Spring Cup, was won by Napravnik as well aboard 7-5 favorite Mico Margarita, who scored by three-quarters of a length for owners Ron Kirk and and Greg McDonald.
Steve Asmussen trains Mico Margarita ($4.80), who was bred in Kentucky by J. Kirk Robison. The chestnut is by Run Away and Hide   out of Wide Range, by Mineshaft  .
Mico Margarita was timed in 1:09.26 for six furlongs. Heitai was second, with Ghost is Clear third.
Read more on BloodHorse.com:  http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87667/tonito-m-delivers-upset-in-oklahoma-derby#ixzz3Eh7trWKN

BCTOBA Notice of Election

NOTICE OF BCTOBA ELECTION

We will be electing four directors to stand for a four year term. The election will be held and confirmed at the Annual General Meeting on October 13, 2014 at Hastings Racecourse in the Old Slots Floor room.

Directors Ole Nielsen, Horatio Kemeny and Bud Malette have agreed and consented to stand for re- election. We have received one nomination of Stuart Carmichael, if there are other nominations please forward these together with the consent of those nominated to our office prior to the Annual General Meeting. If anyone is interested in becoming a director please contact our office at info@bctoba.com or call 604-575-8621.

Please attend our Annual General Meeting to be held at Hastings Racecourse in Old Slots Floor at 12:30 p.m.

CHRB Urges Closer Look at Takeout, Handle

CHRB Urges Closer Look at Takeout, Handle

The California Horse Racing Board will move forward with a committee recommendation that it urge the horse racing industry to examine the issue of pari-mutuel takeout and its effect on wagering, but it stopped short of issuing a mandate.

The recommendation came from the CHRB Pari-Mutuel/ADW and Simulcast Committee, which met Sept. 23, a day before the regular board meeting. During the committee meeting, Horseplayers Association of North America president Jeff Platt provided pari-mutuel handle comparisons for various meets.

“Jeff’s analysis was thorough and compelling,” committee chairman George Krikorian told the full board at its Sept. 24 meeting.

Krikorian said various stakeholders, including racetrack representatives, attended the meeting and identified other factors that impact handle. Scott Daruty, president of Monarch Content Management for The Stronach Group, noted lower takeout rates can impact revenue for signal receivers, Krikorian said.

HANA, an advocacy group, has been a strong proponent of examining takeout rates to maximize handle and revenue. It has been involved in a few boycotts that have curtailed wagering on signals such as Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Park as more horseplayers become educated on the takeout issue.

Some of the group’s members have expressed displeasure with Santa Anita for reversing course after it lowered the takeout rate on daily doubles to 18% for its 2013-14 winter/spring meet. For the meet that opens Sept. 26, the rate is now 20% but is being advertised as a “low takeout daily double,” even in past performances.

HANA members repeatedly noted this summer how Saratoga Race Course, with lower takeout (18.5%) on doubles, regularly out-handled Del Mar, which charged 20%.

“Our recommendation is that we continue to urge all stakeholders to pursue a statistical expert or a university think tank (to study ways to increase handle),” Krikorian said.

CHRB executive director Rick Baedeker, who attended both meetings, said the dialogue with Platt was constructive.

“It was a good step forward,” he said. “I think we can move the discussion forward on a very civil level.”
Read more on BloodHorse.com:  http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87591/chrb-urges-closer-look-at-takeout-handle#ixzz3EPepgffE

13 to Tackle Wildcat Red in Oklahoma Derby

Wildcat Red, seeking his first graded stakes win since the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) in February, heads a wild and wooly group of 14 sophomores entered for the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (gr. III) Sept. 28 at Remington Park.
Following a fifth-place finish in the Ketel One King’s Bishop (gr. I) Aug. 23, Honors Stable’s son of D’wildcat   returns to routing in Sunday’s 1 1/8-mile Oklahoma Derby. The race headlines a stakes-filled card at the Oklahoma City oval that includes the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, the $150,000 Remington Sprint Cup, and the $100,000 Remington Green. The Oklahoma Derby is the eighth of 10 races on the program and is scheduled for a 4:46 p.m. CDT post.
Wildcat Red has experienced an eventful year for trainer Jose Garoffalo while facing the best competition of his generation. He should appreciate a softer group in this spot. Among his opponents in the Oklahoma Derby is recent Canadian Derby (Can-III) runaway winner Edison and locally-based Ibaka, on a five-race win streak for trainer Bret Calhoun.
In addition to victories in the Hutcheson (gr. III) and Fountain of Youth at his home track at Gulfstream Park this season, the speedy Wildcat Red ran second in the Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I), missing by a neck to Constitution.
After a roughed-up effort in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he finished 18th, the bay colt went to the sidelines to recuperate for nearly two months. He returned in fine stye with a 10 1/4-length romp over an overmatched field in Gulfstream’s Quality Road Stakes June 28.
A month later, he took on an all-star lineup in the William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, tiring after chasing front-running Bayern into the stretch and finishing third. In his next start, the seven-furlong King’s Bishop Aug. 23 at Saratoga, Wildcat Red struck the gate at the break and endured a wide trip before fading out of the money.
For the year, Wildcat Red has posted a 3-2-1 mark in eight starts while banking $785,000. With a win in the Oklahoma Derby, he would surpass $1 million career earnings.
Edgard Zayas, who has not been aboard Wildcat Red since they teamed to win three consecutive races late last year, regains the mount. Wildcat Red, who breezed five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 at Gulfstream Sept. 16 before shipping to Remington the following day, drew post 5.
Trainer Robertino Diodoro and jockey Rico Walcott combined to win last year’s Oklahoma Derby with Broadway Empire. They appear poised to give it another solid run with Edison, on a three-race win streak for owners Fouad El Kardy, Bob Butz, and Rick Running Rabbit.
The stalking son of Bernardini  , a $950,000 Fasig-Tipton Florda March 2-year-old select purchase who was previously trained by Todd Pletcher for Coolmore, demolished the Canadian Derby field by 11 1/2 lengths at Northlands Park Aug. 16. He’ll be cutting back two furlongs for Sunday’s race and is slotted in gate 4, just inside of the favorite.
Doug Wall’s Ibaka steps into graded company while 5-for-5 in 2014 for Calhoun. Among his victories this season are the Texas Heritage Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park in March. Lindey Wade has the return mount.
Hall of Fame trainers Bill Mott and Jerry Hollendorfer are also represented.
Mott ships in two-time winner Charge Now, a half brother to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Super Saver for WinStar Farm. The Tiznow   colt was most recently seventh in the Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Hollendorfer entered Tonito M., a star in Puerto Rico who is winless in five starts since transferring to Southern California earlier in the year. The son of Rock Hard Ten was most recently third in the Los Alamitos Mile Sept. 6.
Away Game arrives from New York on a two-race allowance win streak, making his stakes debut for Rick Violette, while Louisiana invader Declan’s Fast Cat comes in off a distant second at 88-1 to Vicar’s In Trouble in the Super Derby (gr. II) Sept. 6.

Oklahoma Derby (gr. III)

Remington Park , Sunday, September 28, 2014, Race 8
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $400,000
  • 3 yo
  • 4:46 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Weight Trainer
1 Away Game (KY) Michael J. Luzzi 124 Richard A. Violette, Jr.
2 Rebranded (KY) Elvin Gonzalez 124 Justin R. Evans
3 Street Prancer (KY) Rosie Napravnik 124 Steven M. Asmussen
4 Edison (FL) Rico W. Walcott 124 Robertino Diodoro
5 Wildcat Red (FL) Edgard J. Zayas 124 Jose Garoffalo
6 Bay of Biscay (KY) Jorge Carreno 124 Robertino Diodoro
7 Tonito M. (KY) Rafael Bejarano 124 Jerry Hollendorfer
8 Even Echo (KY) Shane Laviolette 124 Jack C. Van Berg
9 Charge Now (KY) Junior Alvarado 124 William I. Mott
10 Ibaka (OK) Lindey Wade 124 W. Bret Calhoun
11 Declan’s Fast Cat (KY) Gerard Melancon 124 Steven B. Flint
12 Louies Flower (FL) Luis S. Quinonez 124 W. Bret Calhoun
13 Tulum (MEX) M. Clifton Berry 124 Kari Craddock
14 For Goodness Sake (KY) Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 124 Michael A.

Read more on BloodHorse.com:  http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/87597/13-to-tackle-wildcat-red-in-oklahoma-derby#ixzz3ENlvnrMq